Can't restore charisma with unihorn

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Paulus

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Sep 16, 2022, 12:55:31 AM9/16/22
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A 3.4.3 barbarian had its Cha reduced from 6 to 3 after sitting on a throne
("feel very repulsive" message). And for some reason cannot bring it back by
applying a unihorn. Tried a hundred or so times, only see "nothing happens"
message.

Any idea why? I don't see any possible explanations on wiki. And never
experienced anything like this before.

Janis Papanagnou

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Sep 16, 2022, 2:07:50 AM9/16/22
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I can just confirm your experience with mine; a non-cursed unicorn
horn always worked for me in NH343 (and in NH343-based Slashem).
Sometimes it required a lot of applications to work, but 100 times
is beyond what I'd expect.

Does a ring of sustain ability prevent restoration? - Do you wear
such a ring (or an unidentified one)?

Janis

Paulus

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Sep 16, 2022, 2:24:37 AM9/16/22
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On Friday, 16 September 2022 at 16:07:50 UTC+10, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> Does a ring of sustain ability prevent restoration? - Do you wear
> such a ring (or an unidentified one)?

Nothing really suspicious about the character or its inventory; it's a
pretty mundane Barbarian level 15 or 16 (I have played it a bit
since and don't recall if it got to 16 before or after this trouble).
Past Quest, luck maxed out, doing Castle at the moment. A ring of
sustain ability would have prevented loss of charisma in the first
place, but anyway, nothing very special worn or even carried.

Pat Rankin

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Sep 16, 2022, 4:53:06 AM9/16/22
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On Thursday, September 15, 2022 at 11:07:50 PM UTC-7, Janis Papanagnou wrote:
> Sometimes it required a lot of applications to work, but 100 times
> is beyond what I'd expect.

If it says "nothing happens" then it has classified any remaining
problems as non-fixable. When the random chance to fix
something fails to do so, it says "nothing seems to happen".

If the game tries to take a characteristic below 3, you lose HP
(max as well as current) instead. I didn't think that that interfered
with repairing lost characteristics; now I'm not sure.

Yosemite Sam

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Sep 16, 2022, 2:31:35 PM9/16/22
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Were they eating yellow mold?
Message has been deleted

Paulus

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Sep 16, 2022, 7:57:52 PM9/16/22
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On Friday, 16 September 2022 at 18:53:06 UTC+10, Pat Rankin wrote:
> If it says "nothing happens" then it has classified any remaining
> problems as non-fixable. When the random chance to fix
> something fails to do so, it says "nothing seems to happen".
I never even noticed that difference as in 99.99% of cases I'm pretty
sure of what has happened and what is going to happen after a few
applications of unihorn. Will keep an eye on it next time - just to
make sure. Thanks for the clarification!

> If the game tries to take a characteristic below 3, you lose HP
> (max as well as current) instead. I didn't think that that interfered
> with repairing lost characteristics; now I'm not sure.
As a matter of fact, it seems to be the first time I have a stat going
down to 3. Possibly except for some fatal encounters with flayers. I
actually had a couple of close calls when Int went seriously down but
can't remember if it ever reached 3 (and, if I understand it right, an
attempt to go below 3 this way would mean death).

So... could my Cha scenario be a possible bug? It's not exactly a game
changer as both 6 and 3 seem to be extremely low values as far as
foocubi encounters are concerned, so I am not complaining, just
wondering. I will post an update if the Barbarian survives long enough
for me to attempt stats boosting from potions or fountains, but the
chances of trying to send Cha below 3 again are rather thin (there are
only 2 thrones left in the game).

Paulus

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Sep 17, 2022, 10:43:55 PM9/17/22
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No update on the repulsive Barbarian yet (it's on another PC)
but somehow just managed to get Cha from 7 down to 3 for a
Valk. Restored by unihorn back to 7 without any drama. It
didn't try to go below 3 I assume.

Paulus

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Sep 19, 2022, 12:56:36 AM9/19/22
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And now an update on Barbarian: Cha increased to 4 from a
fountain, but still "nothing happens" on attempts to restore
back to 6 using unihorn.

(And BTW observed the "nothing seems to happen" as opposed
to "nothing happens" on a different occasion, will keep in mind
for the future.)

Janis Papanagnou

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Sep 19, 2022, 5:16:56 AM9/19/22
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On 19.09.22 06:56, Paulus wrote:
> And now an update on Barbarian: Cha increased to 4 from a
> fountain, but still "nothing happens" on attempts to restore
> back to 6 using unihorn.

I consider 'Cha' a minor, quite unimportant stat. In practice it
affects prices in shops that may be a nuisance but solutions are
considering that; like going for a pick-axe and get money. (More
an issue in Slashem due to heavily increased prices with low Cha.)
Usually I enhance it just by the way, when using blessed potions
of gain ability that I drink to increase the more important stats.

>
> (And BTW observed the "nothing seems to happen" as opposed
> to "nothing happens" on a different occasion, will keep in mind
> for the future.)

Was it a literal "nothing happens" message in your case? (I took
it as an informal statement.) - If so then you don't need to try
further; all your stats are at max and all other impaired things
(hallu, conf, etc.) fixed then.

Has it became clear how you lost the Cha permanently? - I cannot
recall (in NH-343) to have it observed dropping unrecoverable.

Janis

B. R. 'BeAr' Ederson

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:14:01 AM9/19/22
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On Mon, 19 Sep 2022 11:15:58 +0200, Janis Papanagnou wrote:

> Has it became clear how you lost the Cha permanently? - I cannot
> recall (in NH-343) to have it observed dropping unrecoverable.

Polymorph ("You're feeling like a new man/woman/...") results in permanent
stat changes, when altered.

BeAr
--
===========================================================================
= What do you mean with: "Perfection is always an illusion"? =
===============================================================--(Oops!)===

Paulus

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Sep 19, 2022, 9:21:36 AM9/19/22
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On Monday, 19 September 2022 at 19:16:56 UTC+10, Janis wrote:
> I consider 'Cha' a minor, quite unimportant stat. In practice it
> affects prices in shops that may be a nuisance but solutions are
> considering that; like going for a pick-axe and get money. (More
> an issue in Slashem due to heavily increased prices with low Cha.)
> Usually I enhance it just by the way, when using blessed potions
> of gain ability that I drink to increase the more important stats.

True. But I typically try to consort with foocubi from sinks as I
travel between stashes in mid-game aiming at boosting level and
energy. And the latter is really unlikely to work out unless the
character possesses a decent Int+Cha. For Barb with a low natural
Int it's not very easy to achieve if Cha is damaged too. But, once
again, I, as previously said, agree with you - low Cha is more of
a nuisance, not a game-changer.

> Was it a literal "nothing happens" message in your case? (I took
> it as an informal statement.) - If so then you don't need to try
> further; all your stats are at max and all other impaired things
> (hallu, conf, etc.) fixed then.

It was, I just after all those years of nethacking managed not to
pick the difference between "nothing seems to happen" and "nothing
happens". Got it now thanks to Pat Rankin.

> Has it became clear how you lost the Cha permanently? - I cannot
> recall (in NH-343) to have it observed dropping unrecoverable.

Again, I think Pat Rankin is correct here, at least I don't see a
better explanation. Sitting on the throne and feeling very
repulsive sent my Cha below 3, which triggers some special
treatment by the game, part of which is restoring it back to 3.
Apparently there is a bug (or a very bug-like behaviour) in 343
that erases the previous high stat value when it happens. Won't be
surprised if it is still there in the current version.

Janis Papanagnou

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Sep 19, 2022, 10:01:57 AM9/19/22
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On 19.09.22 15:21, Paulus wrote:
>> Was it a literal "nothing happens" message in your case? (I took
>> it as an informal statement.) [...]
>
> It was, I just after all those years of nethacking managed not to
> pick the difference between "nothing seems to happen" and "nothing
> happens". [...]

There are quite a few such subtle differences in Nethack's messages.
Throwing unidentified gems/glass at unicorns, or [unable to being]
jumping, effects of applying gray stones on gems, are other examples.
That gives the impression that it's been deliberately kept obscure.

Janis

Janis Papanagnou

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Sep 19, 2022, 10:09:06 AM9/19/22
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On 19.09.22 15:21, Paulus wrote:
>> Has it became clear how you lost the Cha permanently? - I cannot
>> recall (in NH-343) to have it observed dropping unrecoverable.
>
> Again, I think Pat Rankin is correct here, at least I don't see a
> better explanation. Sitting on the throne and feeling very
> repulsive sent my Cha below 3, which triggers some special
> treatment by the game, part of which is restoring it back to 3.

Pat wrote:
> If the game tries to take a characteristic below 3, you lose HP
> (max as well as current) instead. I didn't think that that interfered
> with repairing lost characteristics; now I'm not sure.

I had read that as if he thinks it wouldn't interfere with restoration
(though he could also not rule that out).

That's why I think that the cause of the observed effect isn't yet
found or explained.

Janis

Paulus

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Sep 23, 2022, 9:06:47 PM9/23/22
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Just for the record: the ugly Barbarian finally ascended with
Cha 10 (+1 from a fountain and +6 from potions).

Michael Meyer

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Sep 30, 2022, 12:14:40 PM9/30/22
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Pat Rankin <r.pat....@gmail.com> wrote:
> If the game tries to take a characteristic below 3, you lose HP
> (max as well as current) instead. I didn't think that that interfered
> with repairing lost characteristics; now I'm not sure.

This is from a comment in adjattrib(attrib.c), sounds like it may be the
cause rather than the HP adjustment in losestr():

| If base value has dropped so low that it is trying to be
| taken below the minimum, reduce max value (peak reached)
| instead. That means that restore ability and repeated
| applications of unicorn horn will not be able to recover
| all the lost value.

- Michael

Pat Rankin

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Sep 30, 2022, 8:57:52 PM9/30/22
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On Friday, September 30, 2022 at 9:14:40 AM UTC-7, Michael Meyer wrote:
> This is from a comment in adjattrib(attrib.c), sounds like it may be the
> cause rather than the HP adjustment in losestr():
>
> | If base value has dropped so low that it is trying to be
> | taken below the minimum, reduce max value (peak reached)
> | instead. That means that restore ability and repeated
> | applications of unicorn horn will not be able to recover
> | all the lost value.

The question was about 3.4.3, which doesn't have that comment.
The uncommented code is different but I suppose it might still
implement that functionality.

It turns out that losing HP and max HP only applies when strength
would drop below 3, none of the other five characteristics. That
makes it somewhat more likely that the others could behave the
way that comment states. Investigating issues with 3.4.3 seems
like a waste of time though.

That comment is out of date for to-be-3.7 since unicorn horns
have stopped being able to restore lost characteristic points.
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